Friday, July 2, 2010

Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives

This is one of my favorite dishes at Casablanca, a local Moroccan restaurant. Although my absolute favorite is the Bastilla pastry, which I will be attempting to make at some point.

I was a little intimidated at first. At the restaurant, it seems like a dish that takes all day to cook. The flavors are intense and the chicken is always perfectly cooked and falling off the bone. I had no idea how to go about making this one. So I did what everyone else does, I searched the internet for recipes. I was actually surprised at how many I found, and they all seemed to be pretty similar. I don't have a Tagine, which is the traditional way to cook this dish, so I chose a recipe that was cooked on the stove top.

I found a recipe on the Bon Appetit website. I followed the directions exactly, since I'm not familiar enough with this dish to start making substitutions. It was awesome.

It blends all of the traditional Moroccan flavors of cumin, ginger, cinnamon, etc. in a thick savory sauce for the chicken. Since the chicken is cooked in the sauce, it is infused with all of these flavors. My house smelled awesome while I was cooking this. I get hungry just thinking about it. Yum.

I served it over Basmati rice and had a big salad along side.

Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives

From Bon Appetit


1 Whole Chicken (Approx. 4 pounds), Cut into 8 Pieces with skin removed
1 Large Lemon
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Green Olives

  1. Heat olive oil in a large chef's pan or skillet.
  2. Add the diced onion.
  3. Saute the onion until golden brown.
  4. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger to the pan.
  5. Mix with the onion for 1 minute.
  6. Add the chicken broth.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the chicken to the pan.
  10. Cut the lemon into small wedges and add to the pan.
  11. Cover the pan, reduce heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. You want the meat to be cooked through and ready to fall off the bone.
  12. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan.
  13. Add olives to the skillet.
  14. Boil until the sauce is thickened.

Serve by placing the chicken over rice and pouring the sauce over everything.

Yield: 5 servings

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